Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Last One

My stomach is twisting and turning, I feel really hot, my head is unclear, I can't identify my emotions, I'm dead tired.............. Tomorrow at 6:45am I begin my journey home. Back to the USA!

I thought I'd better squeeze in one last blog on my last night here in Sanluri, Sardegna, Italia. Just be prepared now for the spelling errors and English mistakes. It happens haha. These last months have been ones I will never forget. Jumping back to May, I was very busy.... it was the last month of school. I became very close with my school mates and even a lot more closer with my friends in my town. Even more, my volleyball team. We took first at a tournament we had that was at this beautiful beach town. We stayed in a 5 star hotel, and really had a blast together!!! After that, I was very busy at school with the last tests and reports, but more importantly, very busy with going to the beach as much as possible :) Every chance I got, I jumped on the bus to Cagliari for the day or two, to go to the beach with all my friends! The water is unbelievable I still can't get over it....I get in and think I can drink it its so clear, until the salt overwhelms all my senses ahah. And at this time its at such a nice temperature you can stay in there for hours!!!! AHH I am going to miss it! But back on track..yeah..school, beach, friends...all amazing. The last weekend before school got out, me and 5 other exchange girls did two days of windsurf lessons!! It was soo fun! I was born to surf I swear...I never wanted to get off the board. And windsurfing is even more exillerating because once a strong draft comes along, you are OFF and have to hold on tight!!! It was super fun I can't wait to do it again. June 10th was my last day of school...It was sad!!!! No crazy parties or year book signing like in America, but saying goodbye to everyone was really strange and really did make me realize how much I had grow to love my mates from the year. After school ended I had 5 days to totally prepare for my tour, and even for my journey home to the states right after I returned. I started getting my bags completely ready (which included donating/throwing away at LEAST 150 pounds of things, no exaggeration!!) and doing the final things for the trip. I went to the beach a few times, said goodbye to a bunch of people, was stressin out a lot...but then Sunday the 15th arrived and me and Erica Gale were off to see Europe.

And believe me...WE SAW EUROPE!! Sadly not EVERYTHING but the main cities we totally know like the back of our hands now! We started in London. It was cool, just a crazy city, the coolest accents, things to see, very fast moving, chaotic..but cool! I liked seeing big ben, and riding around in the famous red double deck buses! We stayed in a hostel right in the center which was so nice, and had lots of fun. Next came Dublin. SOO CUTE! Seriously it was sooo cute I loved Ireland! It was totally typical, rainy days, cute, calm Irish streets, and AMAZING friendly Irish people! They were the nicest for sure. We started off the first night with going to an Irish music and dance show....AHHHH it was sooo cool we absolutly loved it!! The Irish dancing, you know like river dancing..lord of the dance....was so good, all live right in front of us...they were so good! In Dublin we also went to a few live music Irish pubs which were fun and good entertainment, and Erica says the beer was good ahah. We toured the Guiness Beer factory thing, it was interesting. We saw a cute little castle.....Other then that we just enjoyed walking around in the rain and talking to people and hearing their cool accents and stories! We then flew into Amsterdam for one night...and seeing as we only had one night...we decided to not book a hostel and just see the whole city and do everything with our short time...and I don't regret a single decision! We started off with a beautiful boat tour through the AMAZING canals....I have never seen a place like this in my life! It is absolutly beautiful, I fell in love with the unique architecture and beautiful canals..and the best part...EVERYONE RIDES A BIKE THERE! No joke. EVERYONE has a bike. They are cute old bikes, the locals even told us that bikes get stolen all the time, and thats no big deal because the mikes cost only like 10 euros. What makes them mad is thier nice expensive locks that go missing or broken! They have bike lanes everywhere, signals, everything..its awesome! No traffic or car smoke or anything, just a bunch of bikers with little bells zooming around! I loved it! We then were able to watch one of the Euro 2008 soccer tournament games.....Holland won! It was so cool to be traveling Europe during this tournament and seeing all the games in the different countries who were playing..so much fun!! After we went to a discotec..which was by far the strangest discotec I have ever been to! The dutch have a total unique and crazy style of dressing and dancing..ahah me and Erica were just laughing our heads off most the time! It was so weird! But so much fun! By the time we left, it was already light outside! ahaha so the new day started, we saw more of the city, and ate a wonderful dutch pancake breakfast (free from the friends we made) and then went to the airport.......where we found out we were too late for our flight because we misread the time! That blew, but luckily a train to Berlin was leaving right away that we caught. The 7 hour ride was perfect to catch up on some lost sleep! In Berlin we stayed with other friends, which was nice. We finally got to eat a few real meals in a row. We saw some of the city, and enjoyed some relax time. Also there we saw the soccer game where Turkey won...and if you didn't know, Germany is FULL of Turkish people, Berlin is even refered to as the second Istanbol...so after that game the city was in an uproar of crazy celebrating Turks! It was great. After Berlin we flew into Paris..beautiful Paris. There we started out with a bike tour which was fantastic. We saw a lot of the city and had a great English guide who has lived there for 10 years or so. Its absolutly beautiful there. Apart from the thousand museums and major things to do there, it is so nice just to relax at a parisian park, lay in the grass and drink some wine while chatting with a few friends. But really thats what they all do there! Its great. Erica and I did have a nice picnic..and even fell asleep for a good hour or two no problems. In Paris we also climbed the sparkling lighted Eiffel tower at night, saw the whole city from way above (beautiful) entered the Louve museum, saw good ol' Mona Lisa and some other fantastic art.......Notre Dame was amazing.....And yeah we had a good time. Next came Barcelona! Espana!! It was beatiful, the sun was shining hot, and the beach was calling our name! So we checked into our hostel, got on our swims, and went right to the Barcelona beach, where everyones half naked, and the waves were big! It was nice to be back at the beach, but it was also very interesting to see how different the water was then the beautiful paradise waters of Sardegna! It was nice still..but no where near the luxurious Med sea around my little Island here! Anyways in Barcelona we got to see a lot of Gaudi's amazing sturctures and art...we saw the park.....and also saw Spain win the semi final against Russia. Go Spain! There were more parties that night as well, very fun. We made it back to the beach a second time, then the next day off to Venice. Venice was one of my favorite places. The party life definatly doesn't exist there..but the city itself is incredible. I have been dreaming of going to Venice since I was little...and none of my expectations were let down. It was beautiful. I hope to go there next time with boyfriend or husband though haha becuase it really is so romantic. The city is clean and the canals are beautiful and every single house surrounding them, with their front porch steps going right into the water, just caused me to sit and stare in disbelief. What?? People actually live in these amazing old beautiful buildings right on the water? No way. We road the water taxi thing around it was so fun. We even made it to the beach there! it was nice. We stayed in a lovely hotel, and tried our hardest not to spend anything because of how expensive it is there..but could not resist getting ourselves Italian pizzas the very night we got there! Seriously, we missed Italian food so much ! we are spoiled rotten! It tasted amazing. Also the gelato..some of the best I have ever had. After Venice we went to Milan for our final night, where we saw the incredible Dome Cathedrial thing, saw the extremely highpriced highfashion stores, the final game of the tournament where Spain took it all with a great goal by the very good looking forward Torres, and...we were really just drained! Went to bed, caught our flight the next day, right back here to beautiful BLAZING HOT Sardegna. Now everyone........ Just to let you know, Erica and I planned this whole trip ourselves, booked all our flights and hostels ourselves, and traveled all our Europe ourselves. I being 18 and she 17. Congratulations to us! Ok just kidding of course several people helped us out with some planning here and there..but in the end...we did it!!! We made it out safely and were so lucky. I am extremely thankful. It went amazing, a thousand times better then I could have dreamed, and I don't regret a single thing. It was a once in a life time opportunity and journey and something I will never forget in my life. I can't wait to re-see some of these places again, but I got the rest of the world to see first so it might take a little!! If anyone is interested in coming on the next trip, let me know! ahah:) Believe me, we have mastered taking flights and the metro and buses and trains to anywhere and in every condition ahaha. Ahh but it was so amazing I still get the butterflies thinking of the whole trip... Anyways..so back to Sardegna. SOoOO hot. I packed my bags, sent a wonderful 30 kilo 200€ pack home (haha..well I had to get my extra stuff home somehow!) said goodbye to so many people...went to the beautiful beach one last time today with my friends...and then tomorrow will come the really hard part. The bittersweet departure. I honestly can not wait to come home...but I honestly love my host family and friends and people here. Italy is now a huge part of me. Its culture has grown as close to me as if it were my own. To sit and listen to the Italian words that comes out of these peoples mouths..and be able to understand every single thing..and respond exactly how I want..is truly an unbelievable feeling. Just knowing how hard I worked and how hard it was to get to this point....Just knowing how much I sacrificed and the many things I missed..all to experience these things...to look back and see how much I have grown and how much I have learned..really brings tears to my eyes. Yeah, reading through my blogs might make it sounds like I was just on a grand vacation this year...yes it was amazing..but it was certainly not easy. To leave everything you know and everything you have to jump into a different life is something you can't completely understand unless you do it.. But I would do it over again 100 times for the countless wonderful times and experiences I have had and the many lessons I have learned and the amount I have grown. Thank you so much. Everyone. Thank you SO MUCH!!

Well....See you around in the States!
I love you all!


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